At Social Catfish, we interviewed a woman named Amy who we have interviewed before on a previous episode of Scamfish. She wanted to venture back into online dating and asked us for help to verify the identities of the men she was talking to. After taking a look at each dating profile, we discovered the red flags that each profile had to confirm they were indeed romance scammers. To learn more about these red flags and how to catch a romance scammer, please watch the video below and continue reading this article.
Catfish Cases: How to Catch a Romance Scammer by Investigating Amy’s Dating Profiles
Amy had been online dating for a few months, so we decided to invite her back into our studio and talk about some of the guys that she has matched with on her dating profile. We looked into some of the guys that looked suspicious and did more research on them to figure out whether or not they were romance scammers. After we got our results, Amy had the chance to speak with our search specialist Linnie. Linnie did a lot of research on the men Amy has been talking to using the tools on our website SocialCatfish.com.
Scammer Profile: Andrew Calabar
Andrew Calabar claimed he had a son that he couldn’t talk to unless his son had a phone gift card. The son would always tell Amy that he loved her and couldn’t wait until she was his mommy. Scammers use this tactic all the time in order to make the victim emotionally attached to the romance scammer faster.
The victim becomes excited that they could possibly marry into this future family and would do anything in their power to make sure the kid is safe. Therefore, scammers use the fake kid to ask victims for money knowing that they can’t say no. They also use the fact that the kid can’t talk to their father without the victim in order to create a sense of urgency as to why they need money. We were also able to track this scammer back to Lagos, Nigeria.
Scammer Profile: Ben Jackson
Ben Jackson showed many red flags that let us know for sure that he was a romance scammer. For starters, when he first started messaging Amy on Instagram, he wanted to transfer the conversation to WhatsApp immediately. This is because he didn’t want Amy to block his Instagram profile if she ever found out that he was fake.
He also claimed that he worked overseas, which is where many scammers claim to work so that they have an excuse not to see you and not to video chat with you. He was quick to promise Amy that he wanted to meet her and marry her so that Amy would gain his trust quickly. He would also send Amy romantic poetry to show his love for her. By gaining her trust and love, the romance scammer could then expect to see his money faster since Amy would want to help him out more.
Scammer Profile: Bill
Bill claimed to be a doctor who had tons of money, but still needed help with gift cards since he didn’t have access to his money. He wanted to send Amy $50,000 of his funds then claimed that she could keep $10,000.
The process of being sent money by someone else to give to the scammer is called money laundering, and it is highly illegal. Scammers do this so that their money can’t be traced to the criminal source, so they “run their money through the laundry” by sending it to someone else in order to clean their money. This is why the scammer didn’t care if Amy kept $10,000 since it was stolen money anyways.
Scammer Profile: David Albert
David claimed to have a daughter who was apparently a very intelligent five-year-old. This “child” would send Amy paragraph long emails that did not seem to come from a five-year-old, which made Amy suspect that it wasn’t a child at all. She kept telling Amy how excited she was that Amy would be her mother and told her that she loved her.
However, when Amy didn’t send her a gift card for her birthday, she called Amy mean but claimed that she loved her anyway. The scammer was trying to get Amy to emotionally attach to the family by throwing a child into the mix. That way if a child asked for money, Amy would feel bad for saying no. When we tracked this scammer, we found that he was in Lagos, Nigeria which confirmed our suspicions.
Scammer Profile: David Flores
David Flores is a good-looking guy who claimed to be very successful and apparently lived near Amy in Orange County, CA.
However, when Amy asked to video chat with her he would always come up with excuses as to why he can’t. Then one day, he disappeared from Amy’s inbox and blocked her.
Scammer Profile: Dr. Harry
Dr. Harry quickly asked her for gift cards, claiming that he really needed the money to help his sick mom. He came up with this excuse to pull at Amy’s heartstrings and make her feel bad for his situation.
When we ran a reverse image search on his photo using SocialCatfish.com, we found that he is actually a model who takes photos for advertisements and stock photo sites. His photos are always stolen and plastered all over dating sites since there are pictures of him modeling as a doctor, oil rig worker, office worker, or whatever scammers want.
Scammer Profile: Mark Cain
Mark Cain liked all of Amy’s photos to make Amy feel special. He claimed that he lived in Los Angeles, CA which is only three hours away from where Amy lives. Mark has claimed that he’s going to meet Amy multiple times, but something has always happened where he couldn’t.
This is because he wants Amy to think that he’s real and lives close by her, but also can’t actually meet her in person since he’s lying about his identity. When talking to Amy on the phone, he couldn’t speak proper English and has a heavy accent. When we tracked him, we found out that he lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
How to Catch a Romance Scammer: Key Red Flags to Watch Out For
- Romance scammers sometimes steal names and locations from the people that they are stealing images from. That way when victims search these people up, the same images come up to make them think that they are talking to the real person.
- Most of these romance scammers pretend to work overseas or as a doctor so that they have an excuse not to video chat their victims or meet them in person. They also know that plenty of victims are attracted to those who are successful as a doctor or as a military soldier.
- We tracked many of these profiles to Lagos, Nigeria. This means that they are most likely scammers since Nigeria is the scam capital of the world, hence the nickname “Nigerian romance scammers.” They also network together and team up to scam one person out of thousands of dollars. For example, if one romance scammer claims that they are in the hospital, they might ask another scammer to pretend to be an attorney.
- Many scammers use children in order to increase their emotional appeal to victims. They tie their victims down to this pretend family they create so that victims have something to look forward to once they “marry” their scammers. These kids state that they can’t wait until the victim is their parent to get what they want from the victim.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you think you want to know how to catch a romance scammer or have had your pictures stolen, Social Catfish is here to help you!
If you want to be a part of our next YouTube video or blog post and share your story, now is your chance. You can educate our audience about what you have gone through and make sure no one else goes through the same thing. All you need to do is email ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com, and we will get back to you with more details.
So how can you catch a romance scammer? You can reverse search any information you have on the Nigerian romance scammer to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image you can search it up in our search bar to see if there is more information on the suspected scammer you are talking to.